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How to order free Lebara SIM card from the U.S.?

How to order free Lebara SIM card from the U.S.?

Old Mar 10th, 2013, 10:54 AM
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<Maybe crosscheck had to have a working phone immediately upon arrival.>

Correct - I needed to know my number in advance. The Amazon price is actually $19.95, since it includes $10 worth of calls. Well worth it for peace of mind.

(Plus, I'm not really concerned about a budget on this last-minute holiday because my whole trip is FREE - using miles, staying first with friends, then with Mr. Crosscheck, who will be there for work and presumably sharing his per diem with me.)
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Old Mar 10th, 2013, 10:59 AM
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Free trip is always good!
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Old Mar 10th, 2013, 11:00 AM
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AGM, if you can't find the micro-sim for Lebara, ask about SFR and Orange. There's more than one carrier.
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Old Oct 8th, 2013, 10:14 AM
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Lebara France mailed me a SIM card right away, but Lebara UK said they only mail to a UK address.

Internet access is tricky to set up, best get directions in advance. Lebara UK page is more complete, Lebara FR is incomplete, at least for my HTC Incredible phone. It is a manual process on the internet settings page of the phone.

Don't use O2 in Britain - very weak signal.

Google and Yelp walking maps were great to have working.
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Old Oct 12th, 2013, 06:01 PM
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It is confusing - my internet access never worked and I had to have the hotel concierge top me off when in France. But the reception was excellent and the calls were astonishingly cheap. I was on a conference call for over an hour (including while in a taxi) and nobody knew I was out of the country.
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Old Feb 1st, 2015, 07:44 AM
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It now appears the $59.95 deal that Cellular Abroad offers may be the only headache-free deal there is, especially for customers that don't speak a word of French like me.

Cellular Abroad deal:
"We offer you your number and rate plan before you go, the option to add on a US number and access to English support."

"The initial SIM card offers a generous 110 minutes of outgoing calls to the US or Canada or 60 minutes to calls to French numbers plus unlimited free incoming calls from anywhere in the world."

"You can get additional call credit either through Cellular Abroad or through any café or tabac throughout France."

"We do request an activation email be sent by you once you receive the SIM card. We need your date of birth and passport number in order to activate your service."

"You must add credit every 90 days to keep your number and service active."

I hate the whole phone thing, but I need to be reachable by phone for business, and I wouldn't want to be without a phone in case of an emergency. I don't own a smartphone. I don't need data.

The "free SIM" from Lebara may no longer be available to non-France residents. The form on the lebara.fr site may have changed since 2013, the last entry on this thread. The form states, "Only available to customers with a French residential address." The form won't accept my street address or my postal code, and there is no field for passport or license numbers of any kind.

I've done extensive research and there aren't many current threads on this topic. I found a recent blog from British tourists who found an Orange store in Annecy where it took almost three hours to get a Lebara SIM, and when they tried to use it after leaving the store it didn't work. There are quite a few posts from English-only tourists who couldn't get their France-purchased SIM to work easily.

I need my world cell phone to work when I land at GVA. I don't have time to waste finding a store and dealing will all the hassles of activation, language, customer lines, and waiting for the thing to work.

Is there anyone who thinks it's not cost-effective for me to purchase the deal from Cellular Abroad?
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Old Feb 1st, 2015, 08:45 AM
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Switch to T-Mobile and don't worry about activaing your sim when you land.
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Old Feb 1st, 2015, 09:39 AM
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I've already looked into T-Mobile, since I am a T-Mobile Pre-Paid customer in the U.S. I'm very happy with my pre-paid service from T-Mobile. I do not want a contract of any kind or a monthly plan.

I'm told I can put my T-Mobile SIM into my world phone and it will work in France. I don't care much about the $1.49 per minute charge (I have tons of pre-pay credit), since I don't foresee a need for lengthy phone calls and I won't be using data.

My concern is I don't want to create an obstacle for receiving phone calls from French locals. My pre-paid T-Mobile SIM is a U.S. phone number. I need to hear from a variety of locals and some may not call me, depending on their service plan, if faced with calling an international phone number. For this reason, I'm told it would be best if I had a local French number, which is why I'm opting for a French SIM.
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Old Feb 1st, 2015, 10:12 AM
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wesley

I'm in the same situation as you. We make 2 trips to France each year (June & Sept/Oct) for 5 weeks each. All we need is something to make local calls in France and back to the US. We've used Lebara in the past & it worked fine - but like you stated, it seems that they have "tightened up" their mailing edits and I can't trick the system like I did last year.

I am going to order 2 Lebara SIMs and have one mailed to a French friend that we are meeting for dinner the first week we are there. The other will be mailed to the proprietor of the first Gite we will stay in. Perhaps if you know someone in France, you can have the SIM mailed there and have them mail it to you in the US (if that's where you are from).

Stu Dudley
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Old Feb 1st, 2015, 10:19 AM
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I just ordered the free Lebara sim last night. It took my address and phone and gave me a message that it would be delivered in 5-7 days. I'll let you know if I receive it.

Sandy (in Denton)
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Old Feb 1st, 2015, 10:54 AM
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Thanks sandy

I didn't take the ordering all the way to the end - but it accepted my address stuff OK. You need to to the "manual address entry.

Stu Dudley
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Old Feb 1st, 2015, 10:59 AM
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Thank you for the help so far. I find this whole process frustrating as all hell so I appreciate any help I can find. I don't know anyone in France who can help me. My French landlord doesn't speak a word of English, and I really don't want to ask a stranger for this kind of help.

It's too early to place the order, because my trip isn't until Spring. I'm reluctant to do a full-out test run with my actual name and address because I have no way to know how many times the software will accept my info.

I decided to do a test run with a friend's name and address. I couldn't get the first try to work, so I tried entering the information differently, and it worked. To get the form to accept apartment numbers or standard abbreviations like NW (Northwest), you need to fill out the expanded "manual" form.

We'll see if this test run works. If it does work, then I have to figure out how to activate the free SIM from the U.S., how to get the prompts to read in English, and how to top-up. Does anyone know if the Lebara website lets you top-up via a U.S. bank's Visa?
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Old Feb 1st, 2015, 11:52 AM
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When you order the SIM, there is an option to "get your free SIM with credit"

https://www.lebara.fr/sim-gratuite

I think you can pay with a CC or PayPal. We paid with a CC last year.

Stu Dudley
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Old Mar 19th, 2015, 09:44 AM
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Sandy_b, did your Lebara SIM come? I'm about to try to order a couple for our May trip and you story of success or failure would help.
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Old Apr 1st, 2015, 04:07 AM
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My test run did not work. My U.S. friend never received the free SIM from Lebara. I'm finding out through French friends that foreign sign-ups for SIM use are not easy in France these days. The local cell store visits can eat away at the hours, customer service is dreadful, decent English translations are almost impossible to find, and it can take 24 hours or more before your SIM card will actually work.

The $60 Lebara SIM from Cellular Abroad is sounding more and more stress free. You're paying them to take the guess work out of the hassle. I don't speak a word of French, and I need a working phone as soon as I land. I also need to share the number before I depart the U.S. I'm tired of doing the research on this, and at this point, I'm happy to pay someone a hundred dollars to give me what I need with as few questions as possible.
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Old Apr 1st, 2015, 12:08 PM
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No, it never came. Hopefully I'll have time when I arrive to pick one up and be ready to go.

Uh oh, just read the post from wesleym . . . does not sound promising for quick or easy. I might have to just rely on wifi and Skype!

Sandy (in Denton)
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Old Apr 1st, 2015, 12:49 PM
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I suspect that Lebara can choose to strictly enforce the term of the offer which says, "Only available to customers with a French residential address."

I have gotten a Lebara SIM last year at my U.S. address, but I felt it was a loophole - trying to map my U.S. address into French address form.

Now I use T-mobile U.S. plan with no cost international data roaming with low cost voice/text. These Lebara/TIM/Vodafone/Orange, etc,solutions plan work well if you are visiting only one country. But if you visit multiple countries, SIM acquisition, especially with data, start to chew up a lot of time. The T-mobile solution solved this without having to make any new arrangements, visit new web sites, visit stores, and for data - at no additional cost.
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Old Apr 4th, 2015, 07:07 AM
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Since my trip to France is coming soon, I thought I would give this one more try. At first glance, I forgot to click on "Enter address manually" under the Confirm Address button. I could not submit my address until I clicked on "Enter address manually." The "Street Number" box will only take address numbers. You type the name of your street into the "Street Name" box. When you click on "Enter address manually" a longer form appears, and you can add apartment numbers, city, state, and postal code again.

Shortly after I completed the online form, I received the following email from Lebara:

"Merci d'avoir choisi Lebara Mobile! Vous avez commandé votre SIM sur lebara.fr et la recevrez dans les prochains jours. Votre numéro de téléphone Lebara Mobile vous sera communiqué dans le courrier accompagnant la carte SIM."

The email listed my correct name and address as it appears on the form I filled out. I will write again in the coming days to let you know if I received the free SIM.

Does anyone know if the free SIM has any minutes on it? Will I need to top-up before I activate the free SIM? Does the free SIM require any money on it to complete the registration process? If it comes with a few minutes, is there enough to test the SIM before I depart the U.S. Thank you.
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Old Apr 4th, 2015, 07:15 AM
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If the SIM works like it did last year, you can purchase minutes on line before you leave the US. As I recall, we called the SIM from our land line in the US & got the SIM to work (after we purchased minutes). On another occasion, we purchased minutes from a Relay shop at CDG.

Stu Dudley
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Old Apr 5th, 2015, 04:55 AM
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